Back to the Roots of Cretan Tradition

Tag: hiking

This was once a booming factory.

One of many old factories we find along the river in the gorge of Samaria. We now think a place like this is the closest we can get to nature, but in the old days it was actually a buisy place to be! For example, the gorge was considered a “highway” to get to Chania. There were many small factories that used the strong current of the river. Flour and olive oil for the whole region were produced this way. People would come with loads of wood all the way from south Heraklion to use the saw mills.

Formations in the rock.


Deep in the valley


Our walk in the gorge with Julianne and Dena.

??????????????????????????????? Roussos Viglis was the guide, as always ready to answer any questions and prepared with many stories. When we reached Samaria village we had a pick nick with tomatoes, olives, graviera cheese, sea salt and rusk. The houses in the village look very old and abandoned but in fact they were inhabited untill 1962, when the national Park was created and all the locals had to leave the area. The renovated house that you see, is the Viglis family house and the sign on it explains a bit of its history. Here is a rough translation:

“This was Theodoros Viglis house and after his death (killed January 1897 in the batlle against the Tourkish occupation at Xilokamaria Nerokourou) it was passed along to his first cousin Roussos Viglis (our Roussos grandfather) that died in 1941.

In may 1941 the government of Greece along with the prime minister Emmanouel Tsouderos and the king George the second with his escorts were fleeing to Kairo through the gorge and stayed in this house. Fom here they composed their last message to the greek people urging them to continue the fight against the German occupation.”
Roussos explained that his father, Stavros Viglis didn’t like having the king in their house and was held back by his brothers as to not create a fight.

For more pictures here.


Cooking lesson with Dena and Julianne.

Fruit gathering from the garden and cooking lesson with Julianne and Dena.

We started early in the morning and went to grandfather’s house to collect figs and peaches. We also made a short inspection of the garden and the rest of the trees.The mango tree was doing well. Back in the kitchen we seared pork chops and let them cook  in claypots with honey, wine and tomato sause as well as the fresh fruit we had gathered. As you can see in the pictures, the katsouna (traditional cretan walking stick) is a multitasker.



Light contrast in the gorge.


Level two: second castle

The trouth is that the second castle was much further up than my brother remembered. He had said that it has about the same distance as the first one but I can tell you right now he was mistaken. I panted up trying to keep up with him and as we couldn’t find it were we though it woud be, eventually  I sat down and sent him on to check if he would find it soon. He called out to me five minutes later, so I got up and also reached it.

The view was definately rewarding!  We were at an altitude of 540 m.

As we were walking downwards we had to be caredul not to twist an ancle or fall because it was quite steep and some rocks were unstable. We also had to hurry a bit because he sunset had reached us and we didnt want to be caught by the night up there!

More pictures here.


Level one: First tourkish castle

Level one done: we reached the first tourkish castle easy as we had done many times before. It was very hot though and we were soaked. We carried on at once because we had said we were going all the way up tp the second castle. I had never been before and Giannis told me it’s about the same distance as the frst one.  More pictures here.DSC02425

Visiting Agios Antonios church in Agia Roumeli.

It’s a tiny church in a cave. We visited it yesterday afternoon with Dena and Julianne. St Anthony liked to live in caves.

This is the view from up there:

Beekeeping lesson with Julianne and Dena.

Honey tasting straight from the honeycomb!